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Severe punishment on Chinese CBA referee


08:38, January 11, 2013

BEIJING - The most severe punishment on a Chinese CBA referee came on Thursday when Wu Minhua was banned for 10 games after his wrong decision caused a sideline fracas which saw a CBA game interrupted for nine minutes on Wednesday.

It was the second time in the CBA 18-year history that a referee was punished. In the 2002-03 season, Gong Wankuan had been banned for eight games as his inappropriate officiating helping hosts Zhejiang shrug off four-point deficit in the last minute and rally to beat Beijing 112-109.

This time, besides Wu Minhua, his two umpires as well as a table official Huang Li were also banned for five games each as they failed to assist the referee to come out with the right decision.

The incident happened in the fourth quarter of the match between Bayi Fubang and Qingdao Doublestar, when the hosts Bayi were leading 93-90 with one minute and nine seconds left.

Bayi's guard Liu Shunan failed to shoot out the ball before the shot clock rang but Wu did not call a 24-second violation or stop the match. Bayi's star center Wang Zhizhi pulled down the rebound and assisted Liu to bury a 3-pointer, helping Bayi to extend the lead to six points.

Then Qingdao missed a 3-point shooting, and had to foul on Bayi players with 28 seconds left.

Qingdao's team leader Jiang Shiwei could not control his anger as he roared towards the table officials and kicked off a plastic table sign in protest.

The officials refused to change their decisions which frustrated the Qingdao team so much that most of the players and team staff on the bench walked straight back to the locker room.

After a nine-minute interruption, the players of Qingdao returned to the court but they refused to go on playing the game, just standing on the court watching Bayi to seal the victory 99-90.

After the game, Qingdao's former NBA all-star Tracy McGrady criticized the officials on his Weibo, a Tweet-like social network in China.

"CBA has to do a better job with these officials. My team plays hard every night but the three blind mice take it away from us!" posted McGrady on his Weibo.

"This bad officiating has to change. No way I'm coming back if the officiating continues to be this errant."

McGrady was hit by a one-game suspension for his harsh comments on the officials while Qingdao's team leader Jiang also received a 5-game ban for his inappropriate behaviors.

The Qingdao club was also fined for 140,000 yuan (some 22,500 U.S. dollars) in total.

"We still feel aggrieved. But we decided to accept the punishment," said Sheng Xishun, general manager of Qingdao Doublestar club. "Hopefully, such incident will never happen again in CBA league."

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